Google Search Console Insights: 7 Questions Answered

Google answers the most commonly asked questions asked about Search Console Insights since the feature rolled out two months ago.

Search Console Insights uses data from Search Console and Google Analytics to offer a more holistic view of what’s happening on your website.

Here are some Q&A’s to help you get more out of this new dataset, as well as troubleshoot a few issues people have run into.

Why can’t I see my GA data in Search Console Insights?

There are a few reasons why GA data may not be appearing in GSC Insights:

  • Your GSC property is not associated with a GA property.
  • You do not have sufficient permissions on GA.
  • You have the wrong GA view selected in GSC.

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Why is the data I see in GA different from GSC Insights?

Data in GA and GSC is fundamentally different, since one represents what happens in Google Search and the other represents what happens on your website.

In addition, here are a few things to note about the differences in data

  • Page title and URLs: other reports in GSC are based on URLs, while GSC Insights uses GA’s page title dimension.
  • Date ranges: GSC Insights only shows GA data for the last 28 days (last day might use partial data), sometimes compared to the previous 28 days.
  • Metrics: GSC Insights combines GA metrics (pageviews, average time on page), with Search metrics (clicks, average position). Those metrics represent different aspects of your site, and they are calculated differently.

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How does Search Console Insights choose “new content”?

The New content card shows pages in your site that got their first pageviews in the last 28 days. Content is sorted by recency, and must have at least a few views to appear.

There are 3 main pieces of information Google uses to populate this card:

  • Google looks for pages that received traffic in the last 28 days but didn’t receive any traffic in the year before.
  • Google filters pages less likely to be new content; such as title changes, comment pages, internal search result pages, and others.
  • Google filters out translations of the same content and keeps the top-performing title.

How does GSC Insights choose the “most popular content”?

The most popular content card shows your top-performing page titles by pageviews in the last 28 days.

For each title, GSC Insights may indicate the top search queries for the leading canonical URL.

If the URL is not under the associated GSC property, the report won’t be able to bring in search data.

How does GSC Insights choose the referring links from other websites?

The referring links from other websites card shows how users discover your site’s content through links to your content from other sites.

Google’s goal with this report is to show how many entrances to a site were generated by a specific referring page.

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On GSC Insights, for each incoming session from a specific referral, the report counts only one pageview. Therefore the traffic you see in this card is only a subset of the referral traffic you are used to seeing in GA.

How can clicks be lower than pageviews in the Google Search card?

There are three main reasons for clicks being lower than pageviews:

  • Each click can trigger more than a single pageview.
  • GA pageviews for google / organic include more surfaces than web search results, such as Discover, Image Search and Video Search.
  • GA and GSC don’t necessarily report on the same group of pages. A GSC account may only include HTTP pages while the GA view reports on both HTTP and HTTPS, for example.

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What do the different badges in the GSC Insights cards mean?

Currently, there are three different badges in GSC Insights:

  • High avg. duration: the content has a high average duration compared to your site’s other pieces of content.
  • Top 5 results: the average organic search position of the content in the last 28 days is within the top five spots.
  • Trending x%: represents a comparison between the last 28 days and the previous performance.

Source: Google Search Central

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